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      Thursday, August 03, 2017

catstuff
07:15 AM - 08/03/2017

The topic: I think we have a virus

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First was DaNiece. Then, last week, Sagwa got pretty sick.

Scary sick. He quit eating, drinking, he had a hard time walking, when he did he was hunched over like his tummy hurt. He stumbled and could barely stand up.

I didn't catch it right away because of that stupid cold I had (spent a lot of time sleeping). But this past weekend, I worked on getting him better (the bad stuff usually starts on Friday and I don't want to take a cat who isn't in immediate danger of dying to the emergency clinic; you know, like urinary blockages, trouble breathing, obvious thrombosis). I gave him cat food with a syringe, switching to on my finger since I had better control of the delivery.

We gave him fluids every day and would help him get from one place to another. He spent a lot of time in the clover or on the grass, in the meatloaf position. Last week into the weekend, he didn't sleep much.

This week he started to get better. Tuesday he was very interested in food. He ate a small amount of chicken breast, a couple of pieces of kibble and some soft cat food. Yesterday, he ate more.

This morning, his walking is much, much better, his appetite has definitely picked up and he's sleeping like cats do. Curled up on the steps. He's lost weight, though. He's always been a skinny cat, but we need to get some weight on him.

The reason I think we may have a virus going through? Last night, Ron Howard was off. He's lost weight. But he was in much better health than Sagwa or DaNiece to start with, so I think he'll fight it off better. But I'll be grinding up some l-Lysine to put in their food tonight and for the next few days, to boost their immune systems.

I know this weather we're having doesn't help. Hot and muggy. And as much as I loathe doing it because of the cost, the air conditioner has been running for three days now. Not so much because of the heat, but the humidity. Last night, I think there were only two cats in the yard, the rest were in the house.

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      Monday, August 07, 2017

otherstuff
12:23 PM - 08/07/2017

The topic: Nice visiting

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Last week, one of Brian's sisters was visiting with her granddaughter and her new beau. (His sister's beau, her granddaughter is only ten.)

The stopped by one afternoon and we sat on the patio while the youngun went swimming. It was really nice.

They were staying at Brian's mom's house and they fed us twice! The first night was a chicken alfredo, the Thursday night was tacos with the works.

Thursday had most of the nearby family there and I enjoyed it a lot. Just talked about a lot of different stuff.

I don't get out much (my choice, my comfort zone is shrinking), so it was a pleasant change.

otherstuff
12:28 PM - 08/07/2017

The topic: The garden

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The corn didn't do well. It was the first to end up out of the ground and in the trash. We think it didn't get enough sun. The ears were dried out and didn't completely fill the husk. And there were bugs.

I moved the pepper plants so that they'd get more sun. The tomato plants had overpowered them. I put them between the catnip and the corn. There had been plenty of room, but the catnip started to fall over from the heavy flowers and overpowered the pepper plants. Yesterday, I cut back a lot of the catnip and it's in the process of drying. I'll have some for sale later on this year.

The gardeners were here last Friday and did a ton of cleanup. You'd never know there had been corn. Unfortunately, when Brian was showing them what needed to be done, he stomped on my little pepper plants. I yelled at him and he was decently chagrined. He won't do that again.

The tomato plants are huge. Brian said he's never seen them that big. The cherry tomatoes are plentiful, I picked some late last week and Saturday, he had them in a salad. He said they were great. Sunday, I picked another container of them and his brother had brought Little Red back home (tractor). I walked over to see how they were doing and Mark ended up with the tomatoes I'd picked. No worries, there are a bunch more where those came from.

I'm not seeing many beefsteak, there are quite a few Indigos, though. They have a ways to go before ripening. I did find one on the verge of perfect beefsteak tomato and picked it. We had BLTs for dinner last night, and boy, howdy, was that tomato good.

Because of the size of the tomato plants, next year they'll be all pulled up and I'll plant the same kind, but not together. There will also be catnip again, as well as peppers . I'm thinking I'd like to plant watermelon and cantaloupe, both fruits I will eat.  The corn will be planted elsewhere, not at the side of the house and it will have more room to grow.

There's farmin' in my blood. Yeehaw.

      Tuesday, August 08, 2017

disneystuff
09:45 AM - 08/08/2017

The topic: We let our APs lapse last year

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And I'm thankful we did. Each report we get about what's new at Disneyland makes it sound worse and worse.

They keep raising the prices hoping the crowds will thin out. It's not happening. It's getting busier and busier. When we first started going, there were off times, usually in the late winter/early spring. No longer.

When we started the meets around my birthday, there were hardly any crowds. Then states started changing the weeks off schools had and more and more people were there.

And climate change. I know there are deniers, but when we started going in the 80s, it could be downright cold in the winter months. Brian pointed out that the first meets had us in jackets at night, but when we started to wind down, a long sleeved shirt was more than enough to keep us warm in the evenings.

I have no interest in Star Wars. None. I think I may have seen part of the very first movie. If I did, I don't remember it. At all. I haven't seen any of the others and really don't care if I do or not. The Guardians of the Galaxy overlay of Tower of Terror intrigues me,. but not enough to spend hundreds of dollars to fight crowds.

There was a time we'd go up in the evening just to eat at the Blue Bayou. They had this awesome meal, Chicken Florentine. They removed it from the menu when they had a change in Disney management. And over the years, there is really nothing special about the food. So, there's no draw there.

I'm one of those people who believes that one of the reasons the parks are so crowded now is that annual passes have the option to pay monthly. Back when you had to pay in full when you got it, it wasn't nearly so bad. Because people can't/won't save up. It's easier to have it automatically withdrawn from your bank account or credit card. I'm curious how much of a drop in attendance there would be if they ended that. I'm betting a fair amount.

Someone shared a news story yesterday about the new rules for parking in DownTown Disney. Now, to have two hour free parking, you have to spend at least twenty dollars in DTD to have the ticket validated. And it's twelve bucks an hour after that, chargeable for the half hour. I was telling Brian about this last night and he said "you know, I have absolutely no urge to go there again. I'm a little bothered that the only time we went last year was on the last day our passes were valid. But I have no interest in what it's become."

Yeah. Me, either. I don't miss the two hour car ride up, the waiting in line to get on the bus to the park from the parking lot, the wait to get into the park, the wait to get on any rides, the wait for food, the wait for water, the wait for the bus back to the parking lot and the two hour ride home. I have more compelling things to do here at home. And there's no waiting.

disney

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      Wednesday, August 09, 2017

entertainmentstuff
09:18 AM - 08/09/2017

The topic: Uncle!

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Do you ever start watching a television series from the beginning? And watch faithfully each week? Watch the show grow and expand?

And then one day, you realize you don't really like it anymore? That it's a chore to watch? It's work?

Yeah, me, too. And this time, it's Ray Donovan.

I liked it the first couple of years. It's one of those shows that I record. Well, I recorded this year's season opener on Sunday and watched it yesterday.

When it was over I thought "what the hell was that?" It's gotten to the point I don't like any of the characters. None. Some of them I just can't stand. Thinking over and over again "why haven't they killed you off yet?"  And the constant angst of every single person in the show.

I'm done. I erased the show and took it off of the scheduled recording list. I felt a little guilty, after all, I've put in a lot of time watching each episode. But I'll get over it.

I watch television to be entertained, not annoyed.

craftstuff
09:34 AM - 08/09/2017

The topic: I’m pretty excited right now

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We got the second Kobalt storage for my crafting last month and Brian is going to put it together this weekend! It will open up my work area so much!

It's going to replace some of those sterlite rolling drawer things that I've been using. There's not a lot in them. Probably four feet wide and three feet tall worth of storage space will be replaced by four feet wide and six feet tall of storage space. Plus I can put other things on the top (to help prevent cats jumping up there for access to the rafters; don't like the cats in the rafters, too much high wire acts, walking on those boards that are only an inch or two wide, long drop to the cement floor).

And once that's up and I get stuff moved in to it I'll empty the other one so Brian can reinforce the shelves. They aren't rated to carry as much weight as I have on them right now, that paper is heavy.  And one of them is bent, my fault, I was on the floor looking for something on the bottom and used the shelf to pull myself up. Definitely not rated to be used as a grab bar. I have those paper organizers in the middle, I think eight high and the paper keeps sliding out of them now. No fun.

So, I'm excited. It will be a busy weekend for me. And Brian. It's going to be work for him as well. He's doing it because he needs the room in his shop. He found some shelves at Costco with a pretty heavy duty rating for weight and he wants to get them before they no longer have them. (You know Costco.) And he needs my storage container out of there.

The new storage will have all of my adhesives (it will be easier to see when I'm running out of glue), my gel pens (nice dark, cool place), my Stickles, my colored glitter glues, my markers, my colored pencils, my embossing stuff, my container of blades, scissors, etc.  Things that now are on the metal shelves with a towel in front of them to keep the sun off.

And my other stuff, the embellishments, the faux candles, the other things I have to make my projects. I think this might open up two of my tables, giving me a lot more room to work. We'll see. Oh, yes, we'll see!

It's nice to have something to look forward to. Happy camper here. Very happy.

wave2

      Friday, August 11, 2017

craftstuff
08:17 AM - 08/11/2017

The topic: Still excited!

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All of these ideas running through my head for organizing my supplies tomorrow.

One of the things I hope to do is move the shelves off of one table to (not as easily accessible) another table. Things I don't use often.

I'd like to move my paper rolls (that I got earlier this year) to the accessible table. "What paper rolls?" you may ask. Well, for my friends with wide format printers (you know who you are), you may get an idea or two here.

This paper which is heavy enough to be used as cardstock. And this paper for envelopes that I can make with my punch (see the link in the next paragraph) or cut out with a Cameo and an older mat (I've discovered that you don't use regular weight paper with a new, sticky mat, it won't come off). Since I like the inside of the envelopes to compliment the cards I make. Of course, these are both two feet wide and my printer only takes thirteen inches. Cutting the paper in one foot lengths will give me two pieces of 12" x 12" paper.  I've tried using just regular white cardstock for this, the colors are okay, but not vibrant. I want vibrant. I don't want washed out. This paper is photo paper and prints up really nicely.

Brian said he would make a roller for me to put the paper roll that I'm using on, to pull it out more easily (it's awkward to work with, really awkward) for cutting. And I've got a couple of paper cutters that work with paper that's two feet wide. One (same model as mine) I got on eBay, the other on Amazon (link to blog post about the cutter).

I have a couple of projects in mind that will be much more exciting with custom paper and I can hardly wait to get started on them.

But first, the garage. And all of my supplies.

I'M SO EXCITED!!!

yippee

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      Sunday, August 13, 2017

craftstuff
09:40 AM - 08/13/2017

The topic: I thought I worked hard yesterday

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I got stuff moved and rearranged and I was pretty happy with how it all fell into place.

Except I ran out of room. Geez, how much stuff do I have, anyway?

I'm disappointed that I won't be able to leave the table empty liked I had hoped to do. I need the space. I won't have to use all of it, and that's good. I have more paper that needs to go in the paper storage and I have to move the brads and cords out (which should be with the ribbon in the new storage area, anyway).

Brian is going to reinforce the paper storage shelves today and I had to move everything out. Everything. That paper is heavy. And the container door kept getting in my way. There isn't enough room for me to get by if it's propped open, so I just dealt with it each time I walked around it. And I walked around it a lot.

I had no idea I had that much paper. If it was stacked one on top of the other, it would be at least twelve feet high. That's a lot of paper. Brian said "well, you shouldn't need paper for a while".

My fellow crafters, you know that's not how this works.  jesterA  Sometimes, no matter how much you have, there's nothing that is exactly what you have in mind. You can dig and dig and dig, and darn it, you just have to buy something else.

And that's how stacks of paper grow to twelve feet high.

Anyway, the thing is emptied out and some of the stuff that was in there got tossed. (A really nice trimmer is in the trash because the guide broke and it doesn't work without the guide. And the company who made it is no longer in business.)

Remember that Brian was going to make my paper roll dispenser? Well, we were back in the office, both on our computers and I pointed out some of the ones available. Uline.com has one for $24.00, plus shipping and tax. Brian said "that's all they cost? Why don't you just get one from there? I don't know when I'll be able to make one and I had no idea they were so cheap." So, I ordered one Friday, it ships from Los Angeles and with UPS running on Saturdays now, it got here yesterday. And it will be a great one because it folds up. I can hang it from the back of one of the storage containers with bungee cords to use as needed.

This was another reason why I'm not really upset that I won't be using the table as a work table. The depth of the table. It's exactly 24". I had planned (in my mind) to move the shelves to a different table since it would be empty (what had been there would now be behind doors). But I didn't realize that the table was only 18" deep. The shelves wouldn't work the way I wanted to place them. I could only put one down.

And the dispenser is a little wider than 24" and would be awkward to use. I'll be using it on my main work table, out here in the family room. It's plenty deep to accommodate the dispenser.

Man, my arms are starting to get tired. And I still have work to do, but not until Brian has done what he needs to do. Then I can start loading it back up. And be finished with my storage area. It's gonna be so nice once everything is put away and organized! No more digging for supplies.

Yanno, this wouldn't be a problem for someone without so many cats. It all comes back to cats.

Gotta love 'em.

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      Monday, August 14, 2017

catstuff
06:06 PM - 08/14/2017

The topic: And Rocky will be on medicine for a year

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Probably. Brian noticed a lump on his back a few months ago. I thought "lipoma" but it grew. I'm not used to them growing.

Then, last week, I noticed one of his back toes was swollen. There was a little bloody spot at the base of the claw. It didn't seem to bother him.

But it bothered us. So, I called last Thursday and the first appointment available was for this afternoon. We both went.

The vet checked Rocky over, wasn't really pleased with the toe and the lump. He said he'd like to take x-rays. One of the possibilities was some sort of lung cancer that metastasized to other areas of the body. He aspirated the back lump (put a needle in it and pulled out some cells). Both he and the cat went into the back of the clinic. Rocky had two x-rays taken, one of his chest and one of his paw. Nothing bad showed on either of them, so it was a soft tissue problem with the toe.

After he looked at the aspirate under the microscope, he knew what it was. Remember Chandler had that fungus that ate away at his nose? The fungus that finally won the battle and we had to say goodbye to Chandler? Well, it's the same sort of fungus (cryptococcus). Except it isn't in his nasal cavity or lungs, it's presenting differently that Chandler's did. Thank goodness.

So, he's on meds twice a day for a month to start with and the lump on his back should start getting smaller and the toe problem should resolve. But this fungus is a tricky one for the immune system to beat, which is why it will take so long to get rid of. Rocky is only twelve, so we've got the time. He said there's a titer test for a definitive diagnosis, but what he saw on the slide leaves no doubt in his mind what we're dealing with. If this had been like Chandler's, he would have advised the test. But it's expensive and if medicating him as we will be doing helps, there will be no need.

He doesn't like the taste of his meds.

gulp

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      Friday, August 18, 2017

craftstuff
10:01 AM - 08/18/2017

The topic: Organize

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The before picture. At the far right are the litter boxes. The black thing in the front is the heat press. (I want to find a different way of covering that and protecting it from kitty cats.)  The covered thing behind that is the hat press. I got it pretty cheap on eBay a few years ago. Because you just never know when you might need one.

After. A lot neater.

There are a lot more pictures, but I don't want to slow down this page. Click on "more" to see the rest. Oh, and clicking on a photo will take you to the photo gallery where you can see the photos full sized.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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